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The Way We Were...... And The Modern Technology Sort by:
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perihelion
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Posted on Tue, Jul 18, 2006 12:15

A humorous email (below) from a friend prompted this blog. So many times I've asked myself : "Is modern life and technology a blessing or a curse to all of us?" These days there are probably 10 numbers to reach a family of three (including a KID!!!), still we can't get together because we are "too busy". We are able to chat with friends and strangers who live across the globe via Internet for free but we barely say hello to our next door neighbors. My kids can't imagine a 2 hour car ride without watching a movie on a dual-screen DVD player. Very often I feel "too tired" (noooo, God forbid using words "too lazy") to get my precious behind out of the car and walk into the store to pick up my prescription and burn those 3 calories naturally, yet I prefer the "drive -thru" option. Physical and emotional laziness has become a norm of our life. Do you remember when was the last time you sent 30 hand-written Xmas cards to friends and family? It's sure easier to fax a document to a colleague two floors down than to take the stairs... We can't get enough of our new gizmos and gadgets that presumably are supposed to make our life easier and work more productive! Now we are able to take pictures with camera phones and share them instantly with the whole world and yes, at the same time somebody else can take a picture of your credit card number while you're standing in line at the grocery store and get you in trouble. Easy access to any kind of (free) information has given us tools to find long lost pals but denied us our basic right like privacy. We get paranoid that EVERYBODY can print out a map with detailed directions to your house, something that once was literally your fortress. We might think we are invinsible, we can claim all we want to be 40 or 44 and it takes only 2 minutes (and zero dollars) to find out it's really 50 (plus). We felt safer years ago, we seemed to be more connected literally and figuratively speaking. That's why I am trying to tell kids that instant messaging is by all means NOT a substitute to human voice with all its undertones and expression of emotions. Birthdays are not only special days but also a great reason to make that phone call you've been "meaning" to make for months... or are we getting more and more disconnected while continue being "technologically" wired? I don't know, but I really regret not having that camera phone when years ago my friend was dying of cancer, and being thousand miles away, I just wish I could look at her one more time, send her my kiss and tell her: "I love you and I know that your way to heaven will be bump-free".... The Way We Were or Why People Over 35 Should be Dead... - According to today's regulators and bureaucrats, those of us who were kids in the 40's, 50's, 60's, or even maybe the early 70's probably shouldn't have survived. - Our baby cribs were covered with bright colored lead-based paint. - We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets, and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets. - Lets not mention the extreme risks we took hitchhiking. - As children, we would ride in cars with no seatbelts or air bags. - Riding in the back of a pickup truck on a warm day was always a special treat. - We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle. We ate cupcakes, bread and butter, and drank soda pop with sugar in it, but we were never overweight because we were always outside playing. - We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle, and no one actually died from this. - We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then rode down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem. - We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the street lights came on. - No one was able to reach us all day. (No cell phones!) - We did not have Playstations, Nintendo 64, X-Boxes, no video games at all, no 99 channels on cable, video tape movies, surround sound, personal cell phones, personal computers, or Internet chat rooms. - We had friends! - We went outside and found them. - We played dodge ball, and sometimes, the ball would really hurt. - We fell out of trees, got cut and broke bones and teeth, and there were no lawsuits from these accidents. They were accidents. No one was to blame but us. Remember accidents? - We had fights and punched each other and got black and blue and learned to get over it. - We made up games with sticks and tennis balls and ate worms, and although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes, nor did the worms live inside us forever. - We rode bikes or walked to a friend's home and knocked on the door, or rang the bell or just walked in and talked to them. - Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment. - Some students weren't as smart as others, so they failed a grade and were held back to repeat the same grade. - Tests were not adjusted for any reason. - Our actions were our own. Consequences were expected. - The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke a law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law. - This generation has produced some of the best risk-takers and problem solvers and inventors, ever. - The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas. - We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned how to deal with it all.

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AsianAmericanIdol
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Posted on Fri, Jul 21, 2006 18:27

September, technology's definitely part of the reason why kids seem to prefer indoor to outdoor activities, what with 100-plus channels on cable TV, DVD players, video games, computers, etc., but another aspect is also the heightened sense of "stranger danger." Sure, I can remember being told as a child not to talk to strangers, but can also remember being allowed as young as seven years old to "go wherever you want in the store and we'll all just meet back up here at such-and-such time" or being let off by the bus at least three streets/roughly a mile away from where I lived from the first grade and on, and no one thinking anything of letting me walk the rest of the way home. They wouldn't dare let most kids do that today.


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MorningAngel
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Posted on Fri, Jul 21, 2006 17:48

I was just thinking about this subject the other day. I chased my children off the computer where they had been playing a game before bedtime only to hear them ask for a CD to listen to. I later sat back thinking of what it had been like when I was a child. After supper everyone was expected to help with clean up and chores (I had the job of taking food and water to the horses/cows ) then we sat around reading stories and then off to bed. No CD/tape was played. I rememeber walking across the city to get to places (yes I could have taken the bus but I loved to walk and see all the different sights) and begging to be allowed to play outside for 1/2 an hour later in the summer time. The more I'm thinking about this the more I'm wondering if by next year it might be time to either move out of the city or to move to another country and start fresh with my children. Someplace less touched with modern technology. After reading all that you wrote here and remembering (though my father had been involved in racing from before I was born and had a 5 point harness installed in the car for me and I remember having to sit on pillows for it to fit correctly *LOL*) I'm not so sure that modern is always better. Maybe some of those relatives of mine who still ride around on horse drawn wagons have the right idea after all. Great blog and an exceptional topic. Thanks. Especially for the food for thought. Leigh


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perihelion
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Posted on Wed, Jul 19, 2006 05:42

if I knew answers to all the questions I'd be on page one, wouldn't I? ;o)


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Posted on Wed, Jul 19, 2006 03:25

How did you get on page 2 of the blogs with only a couple of views? Oh I know, so come on down...Lets get this blog on the road lol.


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